Three hours later at 18.00 PST, Microsoft will kick off its own event in downtown Los Angeles, where it is expected to finally take the wraps off the next-generation Xbox, currently known only by its development codename Xenon.
The scheduling is threatening a headache for media and industry types who need to attend both events, since if the Sony event runs on for a while it could be quite tough to get from Culver City back into downtown LA in time for the 6pm kick-off with Microsoft.
Outline hardware specifications for both systems are fairly well known; the Sony system uses the custom Cell processor, created in partnership with IBM, and a next-gen NVIDIA graphics chipset, while Microsoft has opted for standard IBM Power-series processors and an ATI graphics solution.
However, a number of key elements remain to be confirmed, such as the amount of RAM in the systems, the type of media they will use - PS3 is expected to use high capacity Blu-Ray discs, while Xbox may well stick with the current DVD technology - and whether either will feature a hard drive
Of course, what many consumers will want to know is simply what the devices look like, with the external appearance of both systems being kept a closely guarded secret so far - and, indeed, what they're called, as neither company is expected to use the obvious "PlayStation 3" and "Xbox 2" naming scheme.